(1938-11-02) Cake and Innuendo
Details for Cake and Innuendo
Summary: Phil and Astoria discuss mutual friends and work over tea and cake.
Date: 2 November 1938
Location: Cafe Tasseo

After talking things over with Graham and later with Thomas, Phil sends an owl to Astoria inviting her for tea and cake in the afternoon. She is already there in Cafe Tasseo, waiting for her friend to arrive. As she waits Phil makes notes on a story she is working on.

Astoria enters through the front door and instantly lowers her wand, which was raised above her head. She dusts some specks of water free from her coat, which is soon removed and handed to an employee near the door, before pointing towards Phil. The hostess nods, and Astoria is left to walk in the direction of her coworker. Within a few moments she has reached the table. "Phil," Astoria says with a slight smile. She takes a seat.

"I didn't order tea for you but I did ask them to save us some of the fudge cake," says Phil with a grin. She sets her notepad aside and smiles over at Astoria. "How have you been? I am sorry we never were able to get together for drinks in Hogsmeade, but I did speak with Rhyeline to tell her about the engagement."

Astoria crosses one leg over the other while listening to Phil speak. Her eyes widen slightly at the mention of fudge cake. How delightful. "I look forward to it," Astoria says while leaning forward. She adds, "Very well, thank you. It is quite alright - but, how did Rhyeline take it?"

The tip of her nose wrinkles. "Oddly. In fact I'm not quite sure what to make of her lately. It's part of the reason why I wanted to speak to you away from work." Phil doesn't elaborate as the waitress comes over to ask if they are ready to order tea. Phil opts for the more subtle notes of Lady Grey than her usual Earl Grey and looks over at Astoria.

"Oh, why not Lady Grey as well, but with a touch of sugar. Thank you," Astoria replies to the waitress. She offers the woman a brief smile before turning back to Phil, smile thinning. She leans against her hand while observing Phil, and adds, "I am glad to hear she took the news well. But, do continue?"

Once they are alone again Phil does just that. "I think it best if I not help you with the news items on the Unity movement. Things are a little odd between Rhyeline and myself right now and I would not like to jeopardise wht is an amazing opportunity for you." She taps a finger against her notepad. "I als have something else I'm working on, which if I am honest is more up my street. I prefer writing about and investigating crime than politics." A grin dances across her expressive mouth. "I prefer it when the low lifes I deal with at least admit to being low lifes."

Astoria listens quietly, expression largely unchanged. When Phil concludes, Astoria nods again (though otherwise does not react to the final comment) and says, in a quieter tone than before, "Very well, but do not hesitate to let me know if you would like to be involved. I am going to miss your input." A pause. "I may send you the outlines anyway - I need a good eye," Astoria adds, with a wink. "Why don't you tell me a little bit more about what is bothering you about Rhyeline? And then we can discuss this second piece you have discovered."

"I'm happy to help with outlines, of course," agrees Phil with a smile. "I won't leave you hanging like knickers on a line." She purses her lips and then says, "I can't quite put my finger on what it is with Rhyeline, there is just something that feels off. Sometimes I wonder if it isn't all an act with her. I catch her looking at something or saying something and watching slyly for all of our reactions. I thought perhaps it best to distance myself from the things around her and maybe get a better perspective."

"Excellent. I have them very-nearly finished," Astoria remarks. "I think they will cause quite a stir." Astoria listens to Phil quietly, but when she has finished speaking she quickly says, "Oh, that," with a wave of her hand. "Yes, I have noticed it as well. She is an odd one at times. But, I adore her." Astoria pauses, expression shifting quite suddenly to one of surprise. A tinge of red rushes up the left side of her neck while she adds, "Oh, not like /that/. Oh, dear." She rubs her neck and laughs. "I only mean that she is changing. Or, perhaps she was this way and I have gotten to know her better. She has a darker quality, and it is much more efficient than her shy and skittish nature. Sadly, it makes her a bit awkward. If not also adorable."

Phil refrains from comment as the waitress returns with their tea and large slices of the rich fudge cake. She places her napkin on her lap and for a change adds a drop of milk to her tea once the woman has again departed. "I would never have presumed your friendship with Rhyeline was of an intimate nature, do not worry. I was not under that misapprehension, although I do believe she likes women as well as men." Looking at Astoria she says, "So if you do have feelings for her, they may be reciprocated albeit somewhat on the quiet if things I have heard about her personal life come into fruition. Discretion all around."

Astoria accepts the tea with a small smile while the redness on her neck fades. She scoots it to the left a bit while Phil speaks. "All of that is rather moot, now that she has begun to court Cassius Malfoy," Astoria remarks. "He would not tolerate lovers, I would think. I wondered whether or not she fully understood what she agreed to - but, I think she will soon enough. All that is beside the point, anyway. What do you think is the source of Rhyeline's behavior - the feeling off, that is?" she asks.

Shruging a shoulder Phil says, "I don't know. I expect he will have them. He'd be more likely to accept female ones on her end of things than males. Easier to distinguish paternity that way." How very modern is Philomena Rowle. Taking a bite of her cake she then adds, "I tried to outline the potential hazards for her when she asked me last week, but I don't think she listened. Her zealotry has her blinded."

Astoria listens quietly, eyes quite keen on Phil and she speaks. "I suppose you may be correct. I do not know Cassius very well. At any rate, I wouldn't dwell too long on the thought of Rhyeline and myself. I detest sharing," Astoria says with a wink. She adds, "Although, I am surprised she did not listen to your advice. Ah, well. As I said, she is changing."

"At least the cake is good," offers Phil with a grin. And it is. Thick dark chocolate frosting and a rich moist cake. "I don't like sharing either," she admits. "I couldn't even handle being with two people while being in an open relationship. Not that I am complaining. I ended up with the right person."

"I think you did, too. Thomas seems very supportive, dedicated, grounded and open-minded. That is important for women like us, who often, or rather always, bend the rules and need someone who can be a place of calm," Astoria replies with another wink. She takes a bite of cake. Chewing slowly, she savors the flavor quietly. It takes her several moments before she adds, "Now, what was this about a crime story?"

Phil takes a sip of her tea and smiles as Astoria speaks highly of Thomas, but seeing as how she isn't one of those women who needs constant reassurance from her friends that she has chosen the right partner Phil is happy to move the conversation on to newer pastures. "I have a few friends in less than stellar - well seedier parts of the city. There is a rumour about a new kick. I haven't seen it yet, but am curious. It is a powder like cocaine. I am hoping to do some more digging, meet up with some contacts."

"It isn't Saccharine Powder, is it?" Astoria asks after chewing another piece of cake. She sucks the fork clean and takes another sip of tea. "I've heard of that. Surprise, hm? Normally I do not get involved in such things. But I… happen to know someone," Astoria smirks quite suddenly.

"Really?" Phil leans forward, that tell tale excited gleam in her eye. "Would they be willing to speak with me? Off the record if needs be. I'm at the early stages so anything would be useful." In her excitement she almost sets her cup down wrong on the saucer only the clank of the two meeting makes her look down.

"Yes, she would be willing to speak with you about it," Astoria replies, "but most likely for a price. She's fastidious about such matters, but in a rather calm, collected way." Astoria leans forward a little. "Are you still interested? It's quite amazing stuff, too. I've never seen anything /quite/ like it."

Phil nods her head, "Yes, I am still interested. Sometimes you have to pay for a source, but if the story is worth it, what does it matter?" Likely it would matter more if she weren't as wealthy as she is. A woman with a platinum and diamond engagement ring isn't going to squabble over few sickles here or there. "Ask your friend if she would speak with me. I can meet her at her home or somewhere neutral if she prefers."

"I will, of course. And I am sure she would relish the opportunity to speak with you about it. She's quite talkative," Astoria says with a small smile. She finishes her tea and takes another bite of cake. "Do you think the powder is manufactured by criminals?"

"At this point I don't know. Usually these things are, but so far I haven't heard if it is addictive or not. It's all very hush hush. Which again isn't typical." Phil eats another bite of her cake. "What generally happens is a few tester pots or vials are sent out to key individuals. They are seen using or taking the drug or the potion, whatever the intoxicating substance might be. This raises the profile and creates fashionable demand. But so far I haven't heard of that happening. Maybe the push will come soon. Why create something unless you are in it for profit?"

Astoria listens quietly while chewing on a piece of cake. After Phil's question, she shrugs her shoulders. "I'm certain I do not know. I have never taken an interest in criminals - not that I judge you for your interest. Quite the opposite!" She pauses to take another bite, but soon adds, "I suppose it could take a long time to manufacture, or perhaps it is something designed for a certain segment of society. I really am not sure. I am sure that you will reach the bottom of it, though."

When the cake has become too much for her Phil pushes her plate aside and brings her tea closer. "I like bringing dark stories to light, seeing justice be done. Like with Glinch. It's part of why I became a reporter. It's what I've spent years building contacts both in wizarding and muggle society to help me with it." She shakes her head, "I couldn't do what you do, although I admire it greatly. I haven't the subtlety for the nuances you discover and write about."

"Oh, it's just an acquired talent and taste, really. I suppose it is why that ridiculous hat chose me for Slytherin," Astoria says with a rather sharp, brief smile. "But, you must promise me something. You and Thomas must try the powder. Oh, it is unlike anything you have ever experienced," Astoria says, her grin quite wicked. "And then I should like to hear about your experienced."

"Have you tried it then? What was it like?" Phil sips her tea and then grins, "Oh…I see," she says in a tone that implies perhaps she does. "Like that was it?"

"Oh yes. Quite by mistake, though. It was given to me to just… oh, what is the term? I don't know, feel a rush. And that it does. Like a good shot of scotch, or seven, but without the silly drowsy effect afterward," Astoria explains. "And of course, as you can imagine, I was quite… well. This venue is not the place for such indecencies. But imagine the best. Oh, it was glorious. At any rate, I shan't spoil the real surprise. No, don't even ask. You must simply try it."

With a soft laugh Phil nods, "Very well. If I can get a hold of some then I will see if Thomas is…up for it." Her mouth quirks into a grin at the innuendo. "How did your friend get a hold of it?"

Astoria laughs quietly and cannot help but smirk. The expression is soon hidden by the tips of her fingers. "Oh, I highly doubt he will be able to /resist/," Astoria reassures Phil. A moment later she adds, "I think it simply came by owl post, but I don't quite remember the details? At any rate, I should go home, soon. Those outlines will not write themselves."

"Ask your friend to meet with me and send me the outlines to look over." Phil motions for the tab to come to her, making this her treat.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License